Monday, June 17, 2013

Meet Me Mondays with Steffie Dawn

Please welcome my next guest, Steffie Dawn. I met her a couple of months back when she asked my review blog to review her debut novel and I've been in love with her work ever since! Read her stuff and message her on FB. She's sweet as pie! :)

1. How has your journey in publishing been? Anything you would or wouldn’t do again? My publishing journey has been exciting! It has been an eye opening experience to say the least. There are a few things I won’t do again such as – Keep my book a secret, the mistake I made was I didn’t put my page up or website until after the book was out, this made the first few days of selling hard because I wasn’t just trying to sell but also promote me, though you’re always promoting yourself and your book it was so much to do in so little time! Also formatting, I’m debating finding someone else to do the Amazon formatting because it seems so easy but isn’t! I mean I don’t understand HTML and stuff and Amazon is not a fan of word.doc stuff!

2. What are you working on right now? Can you tell us about it? Of course, I’m currently working on the A week with my Romanian series, it’s a series of seven novellas about Ella, a twenty two year old student who flies out to Bucharest to meet her online Dom, we journey along the week with her!

3. What/Who inspired you to start writing? I have so many influences it’s unreal. I think it started with my English teacher in school, she really pushed me in the creative descriptive writing department and I still use the systems she taught me when I write know. My author influence expands from Jacqueline Wilson who I am still a huge fan of to E.L. James who really showed that anyone with a story can write. Also of course is Red Phoenix who writes within the same Genre, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to take this series to the world if I hadn’t spoken with her and read her books.

4. How long have you been writing? Eh as long as I remember! ;) haha! I am not a fan of saying when I began writing, I mean we all wrote stories in school so we all wrote at young ages, when did I develop a writing style maybe? Along the way. I wrote my first novel at 16/17, it was a YA story called Alexia Grace one foot through the door. It’s really bad. I mean I had no writing experience, no real idea of how to tell a story. It’s unedited drivel but I gave a few free copies away when I met people on fanfiction who I thought could give me genuine feedback on my own work. The feedback was good surprisingly though the book will never make it out there! I wrote a lot of fanfiction, every time I had a new story to tell based on someone else’s characters I had to just tell the tale and I did, I started fanfic I think at 17. 

5. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? Write whatever your heart desires, you can clean it up afterwards, get plenty of practise, write shorts on a blog and get feedback but do it because you want too.

6. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Since I published definitely a plotter but really a bit of both, I like a brief outline and a detailed description plan but other than that I liked to see what my fingers type out in front of me!

7. Who is your favorite author? That’s a really horrible question, there are so many! I have to give a shout out to Jacqueline Wilson, I lost myself in her work as a child and even now I can pick up one of her books and lose myself in her tales! Now, there are so many authors out there that I couldn’t pick one, that’s just cruel!  

8. When did you first consider yourself a writer? A writer? When I wrote Alexia Grace however I would rarely refer to myself to others as a writer, I just was a person who liked to write, it was a hobby to me. An author? When I published Meeting My Master, it was a shift for me I went from being someone who wrote more for themselves than anyone else to putting my work out there to be judged and criticised, it was like reaching a milestone in my life. 

9. What is the hardest part about writing for you? Coming to the end. Sometimes you just want to continue the story of the characters once you’ve finished telling the story you set out to write. Journey’s always suck when you arrive home to reality right? Also writing what I like to call the boring bits are hard too, those are the bits that are necessary for the development on the story but have little context too and drag to write, it happens people! These parts, though, I often read back and wonder what the hell my problem was with it… check chapter 4 of Pleasing My Master, that was one I remember really struggling with, took 3 days to write!

10. Do you have a favorite character from your books? If so, why and who?  Jo-Anna I’m hunting you down for these questions! Haha! Uh it’s a hard one, I did an interview on Master and it really opened my eyes to his character but Ella’s my baby, when I write Ella’s thoughts and emotions I put myself in her situation and really try to get a feel for her and the situation, she’s my fictional daughter/best friend/sister so I think my vote swings in Ella’s direction a little.

11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? 2 or 3… depends when this interview comes out, I’ll edit this if the answer changes. It has to be book 2 Pleasing My Master, there’s so much more depth to it, we meet a new character, we really get to see the relationship in context with the last scene and the power play that occurs.

12. Do you do research for your books or does it all come from your head? Uh-hahaha-uh (That’s me trying to laugh it off!) I research, it’s necessary to get it right but I’d say only a small percentage of it is research whereas a larger percentage comes from my head.

13. What is your favorite colour? Anyone who has gotten to know me will know the answer to this, Purple of course but in close second is pink… yes I’m a real girly-girl sorry anyone who thought different!

14. What is your favorite food? Wotsit/cheese puff or whatever everyone else calls it, on a sandwich with loads of butter, my comfort food.

15. What is your favorite smell? Lavender, it’s a huge link to the old lady I lived beside when I was younger, she’s in her nineties now and still going, I love my Aunty Bet so much and she would send me lavender soap when we moved away as a gift, Lavender escorts me back to that place, my safe haven. Also I’m in love with Skittle blue scented candles, they’re the bomb! 

16. Do you have any strange habits? Strange? Hmm tough one… hold on let me think… no? Can I be normal? For once? Uhhh I drink about 2 liters of diet coke per day… is that strange? I’m an addict! I can’t help it!

17. Where are you from? Do you still live there? If not, what do you miss about it? I am back living sort of where I’m from, we did live in a small village called Penrhyndaedraeth (American’s please record yourselves trying to say that and send it my way, non-welsh speaking Britons too! It’s not easy but if you do get it I challenge you to say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogeruchllyrndrobwyllllandysteiliogogogoch. (Yes I can say it!) No spell check, you don’t have a suggestion I get it!)  Anyway, I miss Penrhyn (yeah that one is easy to day like that) and would consider moving there if I ever make it successfully as a writer/author

18. Ebook or print? And why? I haven’t published print yet but I think both are important, some people sometimes like a print copy to hold in their hands even if they own Ebooks however I love the Ebook revolution of the world, it’s such an amazing thing, so many people like myself, who didn’t read that much before now read a few books a week and it doesn’t take too much space on the bookshelf!

19. How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre? I think a lot of it has to do with the personalisation of the books, each of us in this journey add a little something of ourselves in that no one else could. I’ve received the greatest compliment in the world (Jo-Anna!) when I was told I was ‘up there’ with Red Phoenix and Beth Kery, for me, it doesn’t get better than that, I hero worship both of them, their book series are AMAZING. Yeah there are editing issues in some parts of my book, which were definitely edited, and formatting issues, but we’re working on fixing that, another blogger said I’m not far off Red Phoenix, again another great compliment, I hope my books are different but like I said GREATEST COMPLIMENT EVER! (Jo Anna!) 

20. What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you? Ahhh uhhh hmmm gosh, uh, try not to be too personal here Steff because it could blow up in your face, hihihi, what do I not mind being public knowledge is the question I’m asking myself right now because Jeez I could answer this with a list! HAHA! Kidding?! Maybe?! LOL I’m rambling trying to figure out what to say to make this as realistic an interview as I can without click of the fingers answers… Uh…. Hmm… maybe… no… uh… Oh ok, I speak 4 languages, sorta… Welsh is my first language not English, uh I’m an open book with everything so it’s kinda hard… I’ll go with …. That I originally wanted to be an actress and have 3 A’levels in performing arts that I will never use because if I had a choice I’d write over perform any day of the week. There. 

Huge thanks to Jo-Anna for not only having me for this interview but for being a great friend and support, I couldn’t have met anyone as wonderful as you, thank you and God bless you. Also a shout out to EVERYONE on facebook and twitter, you guys are AH-MAZ-ING! 

*Note from Jo-Anna (me) - Since I did this interview with Steffie a couple of weeks ago, she's released her third book, Needing My Master (A week with my Romanian #3). Her books are wonderful and are written in novelette form and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Check out her books and contact her on FB:


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